Effective Sept. 14, CALFIRE officially transitioned command to Santa Clara CALFIRE district for mopping up the Morgan Fire on Mount Diablo thus officially ending the need for a base camp on Camp Parks.
Since Monday Sept. 9, Camp Parks was home to more than one thousand three hundred personnel that used the U.S. Army Garrison facilities as a CALFIRE staging base. The garrison was used to collect and organize fire fighting units before deploying to fight the Morgan Fire. As soon as the request was approved by the Garrison Commander, Lt. Col. Christopher Gerdes, Army Garrison personnel immediately began the process to provide support. Land, Barracks, motor pools, and an impromptu helicopter landing zone was provided allowing a fire fighting base to establish within 12 hours.
“I was really impressed with the competence of the garrison staff in helping CALFIRE establish their base camp”, said Gerdes. Further he said, “The speed in which the base camp was established is a testament to the professionalism and dedication of the Soldiers and staff of Camp Parks”.
“Also, I want to thank the residents of Dublin for their patience”, said Gerdes. “There was a lot of activity in and around Camp Parks and without their cooperation we could not have accomplished our mission.”
In all, 140 fire engines, 40 fire crews, 5 helicopters, 13 water tenders and 19 bulldozers passed through or utilized Parks. Other items typical to a base camp like, personnel tents, outdoor dining area, personal hygiene trailers, communication vans, wash racks, electrical generators and command trailers were also present.
The co-operating agencies that provided fire fighters and logistical support were the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, Contra Costa Fire Protection District, San Ramon Valley Fire, East Bay Regional Parks, California Highway Patrol, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, Contra Costa Public Works, Clayton Police Department, Cal Trans, PG&E, American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
Parks has a long history of providing training facilities for Soldiers in the state and bay area. Periodically, Parks is used as a training area for regional fire departments to practice fighting wildland fires.